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My Take: Welcome back, culture wars (and Rick Santorum)
Opponents of Proposition 8, California's anti-gay marriage bill, outside the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.
February 8th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

My Take: Welcome back, culture wars (and Rick Santorum)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

So much for the cease-fire in the culture wars.

With the rise of the tax-focused tea party, the slump into recession and the emergence of Occupy Wall Street, U.S. politics was supposed to turn to economic matters. But recent developments on the Holy Trinity of bedroom issues — gay marriage, abortion and contraception — demonstrate that the culture wars are alive and well and (among other things) propelling Rick Santorum to a clean sweep on Tuesday in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado.

Last month, the Obama administration announced a new rule requiring that health insurance plans offer birth control to women for free. This rule specifically exempts, on religious liberty grounds, Catholic churches, but it does not exempt Catholic-affiliated institutions such as universities, hospitals and charities.

In recent days, the Obama administration has been pummeled in the press by Catholic leaders and Republican presidential candidates for purportedly sacrificing religious liberty at the altar of its health plan. On Tuesday, Romney called the policy an "assault on religion."  Earlier, Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted sent a letter to his flock stating, "We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law."

The abortion fight has also been running hotter, with the Komen Foundation cutting funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, only to reverse course a few days later under tremendous pressure from supporters of abortion rights.

Then comes the federal appeals court in San Francisco, which by a 2-1 vote overturned on Tuesday a California referendum banning same-sex marriage approved in 2008. According to this three-judge panel, Proposition 8 violated the 14th Amendment right to “equal protection” of California’s gay men and lesbians.

So once again U.S. politics has turned to sex, religion, privacy and conscience, and the culture warrior par excellence in the Republican field, Rick Santorum, is for the moment at least the latest new non-Romney thing.

One side (the left) speaks of rights: the rights of women to privacy and protective health care and the rights of men and women of all sexual orientations to choose whom they want to marry. The other side (the right) speaks of religious liberty and the downfall of a society so married to moral relativism that it can't even protect the unborn and a tradition as venerable as heterosexual matrimony.

David Axelrod, a key Obama political adviser, signaled Tuesday on television and radio that the Obama administration might be up for a compromise of some sort on the birth control issue, but none of these bedroom issues is going away, at least not until the 2012 presidential election is over.

But just how deeply ingrained are these divisions inside the American public? Not so deep, really.

In a 2006 book called, "Is There a Culture War?" James Davison Hunter and Alan Wolfe disagreed fiercely over the reach and power of the culture wars, but they agreed on one thing: These wars are fought by politicians and pundits far more than by ordinary Americans.

Take the question of birth control. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has raised a stink, most U.S. Catholics are actually in favor of the rule. So if the bishops want to go to war, they may well find they won’t have any foot soldiers.

According to a poll released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute, 52% of Catholic voters support the Obama administration requirement that health plans cover prescription birth control without a co-pay. A similar poll, also released Tuesday, conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Planned Parenthood, found that 53% of Catholic voters support the Obama administration on this question.

On gay marriage, polling also indicates that ordinary Americans are nowhere near as divided as are pundits and politicians. A Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday shows a remarkable convergence on this question between 1996, when the overwhelming majority (65%) of Americans opposed gay marriage, and 2011, when only a minority (46%) do.

But Pew did not just poll Americans as a whole. It broke down its results by generation, and here the findings are telling. While only 37% of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) support gay marriage today, that figure rises to 64% among millennials (born after 1980).

Finally, on the abortion question, ordinary Americans seem far less agitated than their elected representatives. Over the past decade, poll after poll has shown that most Americans want abortion to be legal yet far less common. A 2011 Gallup poll is typical. Although Americans remain split between the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" labels, only 20% think abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, while 77% say it should be legal under all or some circumstances.

The takeaway? While the culture wars are, to Santorum's delight, with us at least until November, the cultural questions that beset us are likely to shift and shift quickly. Conservative Republicans can read polls as well as liberal Democrats can, and as the years go by, there will be less and less political hay to be made by opposing gay marriage or contraception.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bishops • Catholic Church • Church and state • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Mitt Romney • Politics • Rick Santorum • Same-sex marriage • Sex • United States

soundoff (738 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    There is insight in prayer
    There is integrity in prayer
    There is intelligence in prayer
    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Nope

      ""The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""""~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There are millions in prayer
      There is magnificence in prayer
      There is mind growth in prayer
      Prayer really changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Nope

      ""The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There is oneness in prayer
      There is openness in prayer
      There is omniscience in prayer
      Prayer changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Nope

      "`""The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Do Not Disassemble

      Prayer works just great,
      ask those people praying in Syria as they are murdered.
      You are either a moron, a fool, or a troll.
      I say all three.
      You copy and paste the same crap on here over a year ago.
      You need a new line, this one is old.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • zeibodique

      Atheism is healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer tries to change things that are none of anyones business but your own
      There is twisted, hypocritical insight in prayer
      There is lacking integrity in prayer
      There is self imposed intelligence in prayer
      Prayer changes people. It makes them mean spirited and vile toward others who don't see it their way.

      Prayer, it's not for everyone because not everyone wants it.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Answer

      I'm so glad that my comment affected the moron religious prayer bot to re-double their spammage.
      Someone always has to make sure that the keep earning their keep. 🙂

      Don't let me see you slack off you tool.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    There is hope in prayer
    There is health in prayer
    There is humanity in prayer
    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Nope

      "The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""""

      February 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There is kindness in prayer
      There are kindred spirits in prayer
      There is Kingdom living in Prayer
      Prayer really changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~~~~~~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There is newness in prayer
      There is niceness in prayer
      There is never ending prayer
      Pray without ceasing in 2012
      Prayer changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Nope

      "`~~~~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • LOL

      I see someone else is doing my job for me thanks Nope, I've been slacking. Too funny...

      February 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sadly all poor nope has has been proven false and irrelevant to the topic.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Nope

      ""`""The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Really?

      "Sadly all poor nope has has been proven false and irrelevant to the topic."

      That's funny by previous post you've been handed your azz several times.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  3. silliness

    The government has no business deciding or licensing who can get married – straight, gay, whatever. It's not a function of government to regulate a private agreement between consenting adults. Of course, government in this country has a long history of regulating things that are beyond its authority.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • LV

      True enough, but all social benefits policy was designed to support children via the family unit, specifically marital benefits.

      So, the move does cost us ALL something, with no return.

      This is not the major driver, but one reason that companies are decreasing and may well eliminate health benefits.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  4. ThisSerious

    What’s messed up is that 27 states require insurers that cover prescription drugs to cover contraceptive drugs and devices. Missouri and Colorado are one of those states, and somehow Santorum won these 2 states based on the rhetoric of “Obama’s War on religion”. They should be mad at their state governor and legislature, not Obama for nationalizing a rule that was already approved at a state level.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • SFC Mike

      Never try to inject objective facts or rational thinking into election year politics – especially primary politics. Santorum may have won in three states, but look at the turnout levels among registered Republicans – let alone registered Democrats, independents and other party voters who will be much more likely to vote in the general election.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  5. jerem oniel

    How can an insurance company provide birth-control for FREE? Wouldn't that health insurance company lose money? Oooohhhh, now I get it, you meant to say, the law forced health insurance companies to raise their rates to compensate for being "forced" to provide birth-control.
    I'm not against the idea of birth-control, but let's be careful when we throw the word "FREE" around. The less intelligent among us may get confused.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • blaqb0x

      How much do you think it costs for a new baby compared to some pills?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • SFC Mike

      Of course it's not "FREE" in an absolute sense – employers and employees pay premiums. The issue is one of copays by employees or dependants. The shifted cost argument is a non-starter. I pay more in cost-shifted premiums for major surgical procedures and treatment for smokers and overeaters than I ever will pay for some woman's monthly orthotricyclen prescription. By definition, all insurance is pooled premiums, risks, and costs.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Adam

      How many unwanted babies have you adopted? Or are you just interested in controlling women?

      February 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Pull The Plug

      I pay taxes, and have no children, but my taxes go to building public schools for your children,
      Thats socialism.
      Married people with children get tax breaks,
      but gays cant get married because of religious nuts,
      but every state that has allowed gay marriage has prospered from people
      spending money.

      That 250 pound fat man sucking up McDonalds complains about the smokers.

      Time to clear the slate.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  6. Peikoviany

    Oh, because the Culture Wars went away? Maybe at your pot-luck dinner for Jon Kest.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    Feeling down 'n' dirty, feeling kinda mean
    I've been from one to another extreme
    This time I had a good time, ain't got time to wait
    I wanna stick around 'till I can't see straight

    Fill my eyes with that double vision
    No disguise for that double vision
    Ooh, when it gets through to me, it's always new to me
    My double vision gets the best of me

    Never do more than I, I really need
    My mind is racing, but my body's in the lead
    Tonight's the night, I'm gonna push it to the limit
    I live all of my years in a single minute

    Fill my eyes with that double vision
    No disguise for that double vision
    Ooh, when it gets through to me, it's always new to me
    My double vision always seems to get the best of me, the best of me, yeah-eah eah-eah-hey

    Ooh-ooh (oooh) ooh-ooh, double vision
    (Oooh) I need double vision
    (Oooh, double vision) it takes me out of my head, takin' me out of my head
    (Oooh, double vision) I get my double vision, woa-oah
    (Oooh, double vision) seeing double double, double vision
    (Oooh, double vision) oh-oh my my double vision
    (Oooh, double vision) double vision, yeah-ah-ah eah-eah eah-eah ah
    (Oooh, double vision) I get double vision, oooh

    February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Pull The Plug

      At war with the world, may have been a better choice.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  8. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid and pathetic you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Answer

      I see that you've reduced the moron religious prayer bot to using single lines of ad nauseam.

      Good job. Keep it up.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Rstlne

      Nice post, except for the cats part! As a cat lover I must protest that we cat owners clean up after our pets so there is generally no stink, and not all of us pray to any deity.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There is joy in prayer
      There is justice in prayer
      There is jubilation in prayer
      Prayer changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs."""""

      February 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      There is love in prayer
      There is life in prayer
      There is longevity in prayer
      Prayer changes things

      February 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • beowoofwoof

      From the fingertips of the hippypoet to the eyes of the unwashed masses. All the yearnings of mankind have now been answered. All that was needed was the hippypoet.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  9. Rev. Rick

    Quoting from the article, "... these wars are fought by politicians and pundits far more than by ordinary Americans."

    I absolutely believe that is true. Politicians in particular use these hot button issues to generate a lot of heat and light during speeches and debates, but when their cheering const-ituents go home and the bedroom lights go out, something entirely different must be going on. Why? Because when it comes to details of someone's religious beliefs, what they profess publically, and what they actually believe, may be very different. According to the polls, many if not most (American) Catholics practice a non-approved form of birth control. But, lets say the bishop of the local Catholic diocese took a public poll during Sunday mass and asked for a show of hands as to how many of his congregants use an unapproved form of birth control? How many would have the guts to raise their hand? Some might have the guts to fess-up, but I doubt most would. How would I know? Because I was Catholic for a number of years, and I knew families with both a VERY large number of children, and I knew families with none.

    Don't misunderstand me. I am not down on Catholics, or the church in general, but there are just some areas of your life where the church (and politicians) has no business sticking its nose.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Wolf Blitzer

      Are you Rev Rick Warren? If so, can I have your autograph?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      Hey Wolf! Love your show!

      Here ya' go with the autograph:

      Rev. Rick Warren

      Sorry. An ASCII equivalent it the best I can do at the moment...

      February 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • BRC

      Terrible pun, C+ at best.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @brc

      10 print "It's a pretty BASIC joke, I admit."
      end

      February 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Rev. Rick

      Sing It Preacher! Churches should not be telling people what they should do with their genitals. Think of how deluded believers are.

      If I had a Grandpa, who was as perverted as the Christian god, I'd have had him put in a home.

      Christian thinking, has been a victim of their make believe god. We have mutilated our children's genitals, to please our gods!

      A god that is more interested in our genitals, than in our welfare.

      Oh, my believers! Remove your devotion to this latest crop of gods, and allow them to go where all forgotten gods go.

      Any hope your god gives is false. Any help, is imagined. Any "inspired" word a work of men, reflecting the morals and knowledge of ancient people. People obsessed with their genitals. LOL

      You allow yourself to believe god helped you find your keys, but ignore that he allowed a child to die of cancer.

      A lovely day for a picnic! Thank you Jesus! Oh, an earthquake in Ja_pan you say? How many people died? Umm...Thank you Jesus?

      There is no god peering at you, as you sit upon the toilet or holding another person.

      When you pray, you are talking to yourself. Your brain generates any warm and fuzzy feelings, not a god or his agent. You can get the same results by praying and worshiping a carton of milk. All it takes is faith.

      Listen to your Uncle Dave! I will exorcise the silly from you! I will set you free!

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Eve

      Can you be a bigger j a c k a s s David?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Name Challenged

      Since we are celebrating computer geek day....

      Can I get an XML sized Java Please? And I will need that as(a)p!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Crazyhorse

      Rev. Rick,

      The hierarchy of the Catholic Church has a moral obligation to preach the truth, regardless of how the rest of the flock perceives it. That is why they do what they do. If you want to discuss whether it is true or not, that is another issue. Most people don't go to church in the first place, let alone can recite even the most basic tenants of their faith. So on a more seemingly simple issue as family planning, the easiest answer, "fix me so I don't make babies" – is in every aspect against the teachings of Jesus and Scripture.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Crazy Horse,
      "So on a more seemingly simple issue as family planning, the easiest answer, "fix me so I don't make babies" – is in every aspect against the teachings of Jesus and Scripture."

      First, this being a country of laws, what Jesus taught is not paramount, except where it touches on freedom or religion.
      Second, why would contraception be against Jesus' teachings? I don't remember Him claiming any preference for going bareback.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      I would say C++ at best (pun)

      February 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Crazyhorse said, "If you want to discuss whether it is true or not, that is another issue. ...........So on a more seemingly simple issue as family planning, the easiest answer, "fix me so I don't make babies" – is in every aspect against the teachings of Jesus and Scripture."

      Ha! The very thing you so easily dismiss, that is whether something is true or not, is also the very thing you use as your final argument! You claim to know, or seem to imply that you know what Jesus' teachings meant in terms of birh control. Yes, the Catholic Church doctrine is that birth control is a sin, but most (American) Catholics don't seem to believe it. I suspect that if American Catholics began to leave the church en masse over the issue, then it might get the church heirarchy's attention, but most Catholics will never raise the issue and will quietly continue to practice birth control behind close doors. A new spin on don't-ask-don't-tell. Fear and ignorance are powerful tools, and over the centuries religious groups have wielded those tools to keep their flocks in line.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  10. Reality

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    And the irony of it all:

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      Add to that the fact that most conservatives do not want s-ex education taught in their schools.

      Let's face it. The kids are going to have s-ex anyway. God forbid we show them how to avoid getting pregnant or contracting an STD.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Linda D.

      I understand why u-r drawing this conclusion, but God didn' say we can give up yet, so let's praying for his intervention.:)

      February 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @ Linda D. – I agree that we should also teach abstinence, but obviously the success rate with that is not very high – teenage hormones being what they are. But I also believe s-ex ed would be appropriate as a fail-safe.

      There is an old Arab saying, "Trust in God, but tie your camel."

      February 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • GodPot

      New Trojan add campaign for the bible belt: "Trust in God, but cover your Camel..."

      February 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Reality

      One does not need Planned Parenthood to teach our kids about se-x. Simply read and have your kids read the following:

      WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!

      The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate, one million unplanned pregnancies) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate, another one million unplanned pregnancies ) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Se-xually active teens, young adults and adults must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"
      Obviously,

      Planned Parenthood, parents and the educational system have obviously failed miserably on many fronts.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Pro-Life against Wedge Issues

      I'm pro-life but refuse to let it be the one thing that determines my vote anymore. Too easy to promise something and then do nothing...also believe abortion should be legal but work the real work of God to make it less common. Quit trying to legislate morality and use your Godly gifts to improve the world and eliminate unwanted pregnancies before they happen.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  11. urafkntool

    culture wars are definetly on... but even the Government is too stupid to see what's really happening. So are most whites. Everyone else does though...

    February 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • John

      What's going on? Please do share because I'm not sure what you're talking about.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • urafkntool

      well, blacks and mexicans are fighting over california.. the mexicans are winning. Blacks are r-a-p-i-n-g and, along with mexicans, killing whites all over the US. Whites, we're mostly hiding and trying to survive, although some cases, like in Mi-s-h-i-tgan, some are fighting back. We have asian gangs in Seattle attacking people of all ethnicities. It's a mess, and it's all because of multi-cult diversity.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • John

      How do you suggest we correct the problem? Segregation?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • urafkntool

      It's the only way. But make it actually EQUAL this time, instead of refusing to fund the schools, and other stupid s-h-i-t they did during SBE.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • John

      Haha thats a pretty dumb idea.....so do you segregate everything? are certain cities only allowed by certain races? How do you stop races from integrating outside of school, work, etc? Bro you don't have a clue, that'd be impossible to implement if you wish to live in a democracy. go back to your cave.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.... (as long as they're white and Christian).

      February 8, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @John: It's actually not impossible, nor is it a dumb idea. Segregate by race and territory. Example: White northeast/central US. Black southern (below the mason dixon line, texas/OK to florida). Asian Northwest, Mexican southwest. Walled off areas. Guards posted everywhere with orders to shoot to kill anyone trying to get into or out of their area. Everything inside the walls.. absolute freedom and rule of law. People have a right to have their own areas, and that's what I'm working on.

      @Doc: Don't forget, the US never had to allow a single non-white immigrant. We were pretty damn generous. Now we have to clean up the mess that generosity caused.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It's sad that your vision of the The Great American Melting Pot is a bowl of Miso soup.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • urafkntool

      http://www.chicagonewsreport.com/2011/06/stop-whitewashing-chicagos-black-crime.html

      http://www.futurity.org/society-culture/skewed-stats-distort-black-crime-reports/

      I can't reach a lot of sites because my work firewall doesn't allow truth, only liberal multiculturalism.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @Doc: Unless you want to see nothing but crime in the future of the US, that's what it HAS to be.

      Never had Miso soup before though.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @Doc: Hey Doc, did you ever see the movie Idiocracy?

      February 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      " Segregate by race and territory. Example: White northeast/central US. Black southern (below the mason dixon line, texas/OK to florida). Asian Northwest, Mexican southwest. Walled off areas. Guards posted everywhere with orders to shoot to kill anyone trying to get into or out of their area. "

      Mad Max on Orwellian acid... and we can't even build a fence on the southern border... yeah, right. Not a chance... even if people wanted such a dysfunctional society, which they don't.

      This was addressed 30-40 years ago, wake up.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Actually, it wasn't address. Integration was FORCED, against the majority's will. AND IT'S NOT WORKING. Check out the violent and racial crime statistics, preferably from non-mainstream sources, since mainstream sources skew the numbers with misrepresentation (ie. hispanics being listed as white when they're not).

      February 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Let them integrate! Let them sit up there in their dirty shirts and make all their fine speeches. But they are all a bunch of infidels, dying from the neck up."
      – Wallie Criswell, Baptist Minister
      "We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God's favored servants being of a black race...every angel who ever brought a message of God's mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun." (Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157)
      "Furthermore your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Neg.ro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous."
      – George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay

      I think you should become either Baptist or a Mormom. You seem to agree with them.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • LostNomad

      I segregate everything on my dinner plate. I hate when my peas invade my macaroni and cheese.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @uRafkntool,
      "preferably from non-mainstream sources"
      Like weknowcypherin.kkkom? (sorry, that was juvenile wasn't it.)
      How do you determine what statistics are "right"? Because they agreed with you?

      February 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Whites, we're mostly hiding and trying to survive, " LOL

      Right, all them white's hiding in plain sight, it's a brilliant stratagy. Make sure 90% of our elected officials and CEO's and Wallstreet Bankers are white and call it "survival".

      I know tool is just a troll or maybe a really really ignorant back woods inbred hog humper, but that got me laughing...

      February 8, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @nominus: pull up those two links I posted. Do a google search on race based crime, do one per race, and see who's is highest. See who it's highest AGAINST. These are the reasons integration DOES NOT WORK.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @GodPot: since you don't bother to actually research anything, you just watch libtard news, you don't realize that in most states, whites are a minority behind hispanics and blacks, and that both groups are vicious in their attacks on whites mainly, and then each other. I give you Detroit. Highest racial crime level of any major city. 2nd? I belive it's still Los Angeles. Maybe Nawlins is back up there. Go ahead. looks it up. utilize NON-MSM media sources, because all of them firmly believe that pointing out flaws in any raciam makeup except whites is racism.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @urafkntool

      You said: "Don't forget, the US never had to allow a single non-white immigrant. We were pretty damn generous. Now we have to clean up the mess that generosity caused."

      Yep, damn generous. We "let" blacks in, because they wanted to pick our cotton. We let the Chinese in, to build our railroads...

      I have not experienced the gangs you mentioned. But then, I live in a gated community.

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Hey tool, I wonder if you know that crime rates are at a low we haven't seen in a long time.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • captain america

      doc vestibule is an out of place canadian what it is doing commenting on the American melting pot and the statue of Liberty is beyond me, i mean the ass hole is not a citizen of this country what the f does it have to say about US? Go play American in your room doc while you j erk off.There's your sign.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Conz

      16% of our nation is hispanic, 12% black. now, do tell me sir, in which states are whites really a minority? Also, segregation is not a modern desire by essentially anyone, just the few remaining KKK members and, uh, you

      February 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @captain america,
      Since when was this declared a US only site? It wasn't.
      You do not represent America and personally I find your use of the name offensive.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • captain america

      You run your mouth on our nation you are going get told to go screw yourself doc. You have no business pretending you are one of US and you should be exposed for the fraud you are. There's your sign

      February 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Answer

      The small child 'captain america' wants to be recognized as an adult. Keep trying.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @uRafkntool.
      The ChicagoNewsReport article seems to be nothing but anecdotal evidence; I didn't see any statistics at all. Although, if the crime information in Chicago is being recorded inaccurately, then, by all means, correct it.
      The Futurity article at least has some statistics, but it doesn't seem to back your argument. It seems to be saying that, while not changing as a percentage of crime, "rates are lower today for blacks, as they also are for other race groupings." It also appears to say that, while perhaps not a pronounced as once thought, "the improving trend in black violent crime indicates that African-Americans are experiencing better social standing in the U.S."

      Which leads to another question, don't the areas you mention, Chicago, Detroit, LA all have both higher number of African-Americans and higher unemployment than the US on average. In other words, isn't there a correlation between economics and crime, perhaps even moreso than race and crime?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n
      I've never claimed to be American, though I did live for three years as the only Canadian at the Headquarters For the United States European Command.
      I was inundated with your government's propaganda machine in the form of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service during that time.
      So how about you get off your xenophobic high horse.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • GodPot

      "since you don't bother to actually research anything, you just watch libtard news, you don't realize that in most states, whites are a minority behind hispanics and blacks"

      "16% of our nation is hispanic, 12% black. now, do tell me sir, in which states are whites really a minority? "

      I'm pretty sure that fkntool's don't actually have any understanding of math which is why it's so easy for Faux News to lie to them. It's really sad and I wish there was some way to inoculate against it, but all we can do is wait for their ignorance to die out. With all the Fkntool's sleeping with their first cousins hopefully they keep this sort of thing confined to their inbred relatives.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • captain america

      Go screw yourself doc, you were not needed then you ain't needed now. There's your sign

      February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @CA

      Ah the pathetic troll speaks! Cappie here apparently cannot contribute to any type of intellectual discourse, and therefore must resort to insulting someone he probably wouldn't have the ba.lls to insult face to face.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • seriously?

      You really should stop using your employers' time and internet to post nonsense online. You're wasting their time just like your wife wastes your time in bed at night.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Really?

      "You really should stop using your employers' time and internet to post nonsense online. "

      The average employee uses at least 2 hours of employers time surfing the web, it's funny how no one understands that's stealing. If your stealing you have no morals!

      February 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Darwin

      @urafkntool – uranazifkntool

      February 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Prayer changes things

    Prayer has brought us to today
    And prayer will see us through

    February 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Nope

      ~~~~~The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.~~~~~~~

      February 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      STEP study: prayer is useless if not harmful

      February 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • GodPot

      Knock on wood... because you just never know when a wood demon might be listening...

      February 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Nope, Please explain

      Not that you should put a lot a weight into studies, even the studies you quote seem to contrad.ict your concl.usion

      A 1988 study by Randolph C. Byrd used 393 pat.ients at the San Francisco General Hosp.ital coronary care unit (CCU). Measuring 29 health outcomes using three-level (good, intermed.iate, or bad) scoring, the prayer group suffered fewer newly diagnosed a.ilments on only six of them. Byrd conc.luded that "Based on these data there seemed to be an effect, and that effect was pres.umed to be benef.icial", and that "interc.essory prayer to the Jud.eo-Chris.tian God has a benef.icial ther.apeutic effect in pati.ents admitted to a CCU.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • So

      So Mike there are other studies too.

      Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School and other scientists tested the effect of having three Christian groups pray for particular patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. The volunteers prayed for "a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications" for specific patients, for whom they were given the first name and first initial of the last name.

      The patients, meanwhile, were split into three groups of about 600 apiece: those who knew they were being prayed for, those who were prayed for but only knew it was a possibility, and those who weren't prayed for but were told it was a possibility.

      The researchers didn't ask patients or their families and friends to alter any plans they had for prayer, saying such a step would have been unethical and impractical. The study looked for any complications within 30 days of the surgery. Results showed no effect of prayer on complication-free recovery. But 59 percent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for developed a complication, versus 52 percent of those

      February 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      So, but Nope reference the CCU studies specifically.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Mike, I'd like to see a report that details the difference in people who pray to different Gods. That would tell you if it made a difference. Also, you may want to include a bigger test group. There are too many variables. Seems like a bogus study. Then again, I am a statistician.

      Are you telling me that people who are Christians and pray to God and still get sick just aren't praying hard enough? If prayer keeps you from getting sick, that should be the case.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Mike,

      If you're going to copy and paste from wiki, at least copy and paste the whole thing. Here are some parts you left out:
      -A criticism of Byrd's study, which also applies to most other studies, is based on the fact that he did not limit prayers by the friends and family of patients, hence it is unclear which prayers may have been measured, if any

      -the original research was not completely blinded and was limited to only "prayer-receptive" individuals (57 of the 450 patients invited to participate in the study refused to give consent “for personal reasons or religious convictions”)

      -Critics have suggested that both Byrd's and Harris's results can be explained by chance

      -Psychiatrist Richard P. Sloan compared the Byrd and Harris studies with the sharpshooter fallacy, "searching through the data until a significant effect is found, then drawing the bull's-eye.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mike from CT

      Umm... No, Sparky. You omitted the rest of the story:

      "A 1999 follow-up by William S Harris et al. attempted to replicate Byrd's findings under stricter experimental conditions, noting that the original research was not completely blinded and was limited to only "prayer-receptive" individuals (57 of the 450 patients invited to participate in the study refused to give consent “for personal reasons or religious convictions”).[9] Using a different, continuous weighted scoring system – which admittedly was, like Byrd's scoring, "an unvalidated measure of CCU outcomes" – Harris et al. concluded that "supplementary, remote, blinded, intercessory prayer produced a measurable improvement in the medical outcomes of critically ill patients", and suggested that "prayer be an effective adjunct to standard medical care."[10] However, when they applied Byrd’s scores to their data, they could not docu_ment an effect of prayer using his scoring method. Critics have suggested that both Byrd's and Harris's results can be explained by chance.[11] Psychiatrist Richard P. Sloan compared the Byrd and Harris studies with the sharpshooter fallacy, "searching through the data until a significant effect is found, then drawing the bull's-eye.[12] " – Wikipedia

      Cheers!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      @Joe, I never said that don't put words into my post. Prayer does not keep you from getting sick, it is used to fellowship with God.

      My post was taken from Wiki which seems to contradict Nope's statement but as I said

      Not that you should put a lot a weight into studies

      @Steve and Dave
      My question was simple, if this the study that Nope was referring to?

      @Steve, As far as omitting someones opinion to the study, yes, opinions are not studyies

      @Dave
      Correct but again that is a different study and does not answer the question above.

      The best we can conclude from these different outcomes is that it seems unmeasurable. But the question I had for Nope is how does he go from the CCU study of a positive outcome to the conclusion of "wasting" time

      February 8, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • TR6

      Mike from CT: “ "interc.essory prayer to the Jud.eo-Chris.tian God has a benef.icial ther.apeutic effect in pati.ents admitted to a CCU.”

      The experiment and conclusion isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on unless it’s been published in a recognized and respected scientific journal. Please state which journal this amazing discovery (eye roll) was published in

      February 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      I will also add, and you can see by the punctuation, that I had trouble posting that small piece until I found the word ra.pe in ther.apeutic

      February 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      TR6 if you follow the thread you can see that it comes from wiki, which the source is
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_on_intercessory_prayer

      With a footnote of
      Byrd RC (July 1988). "Positive ther.apeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population". Southern Medical Journal 81 (7): 826–9. doi:10.1097/00007611-198807000-00005. PMID 3393937.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  13. Worrisome

    These comments have the maturity of a 15 year old or extremely ldiotic people. It's hilarious watching the same people bicker back and forth and nobody ever presents anything of substance, just the same old tired responses to the simplest overarching questions, which shows no intellectual capacity whatsoever. No wonder our country's going in the shltter if half the population is as dumb as each one of you (95% of the commentors are tards).

    Pathetic...

    February 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Pot, or kettle?

      Thank you for that mature, enlightened, substantive response.

      Troll.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Worrisome

      @pot

      Thank you for proving what I posted to be exactly true.

      Moron.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Pot, or kettle?

      I'll go with kettle then. hypocrite.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Worrisome

      Wow you're dumber than I initially thought. Also you think calling me a hypocrite somehow proves your point, whatever that even is? I made no claims of myself, just stated the fact about the absurd amount of ignorant, uneducated posts. That's a fact and it's obvious to anyone with half a brain.......Sorry you're so dumb.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Pot, or kettle?

      You made an immature post with no substance, complain about immature posts with no substance. That pretty much makes you the definition of a hypocrite. You're obviously too blinded by your own arrogance to see that. If you don't like the things written on these blogs then here's a hint: DON'T READ THEM.

      Wow, some people are clueless.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Worrisome

      @pot

      Did it ever cross your little mind that I've made plenty of sincere and earnest posts? No ofcourse not, btw pointing out a fact doesn't make a post "immature." Me call you dumb, which is apparently true, doesn't make it immature because it's the TRUTH. Sorry that I called out all the morons for being morons (you're obviously included in that group). I get it, people don't like to be called stupid, especially when they are. Carry on now with your pathetic life.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Worrisome

      I think the point he's trying to get across is that, while many of the posts on here are as you described them, you said as much in the exact way that you profess everyone else discusses things. Your refusal to notice your own immature way of speaking to others shows arrogance, and an unwillingness to really look at anything beyond what you see it as. Your posts have slowly lost any true substance to it. Pointing out what is a trend (not an absolute truth) in the comments does not make a post immature, but the language and the response to criticism will.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Pot, or kettle?

      Four posts an not one mature response. kudos. keep up the good work.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  14. Stop spamming

    Seriously, stop friggin spamming.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  15. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  16. No please ...

    The fact that Santorum got he most votes from the wacko end of the Republican Party only goes to show how divided they are. Obama is dancing with glee. Ricky is UNELECTABLE. They flit from one freak to the next. Does this mean Newt is finally going to "anger management" and going away ? The dog and pony show continues.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • innocent bystander

      when you get the most votes you are electable

      February 8, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Get a clue

      Santorum did not get the most votes in a general election – he got the most votes in some states from his own party, especially in formats where the fringe tends to dominate. It's not like a caucus even remotely resembles a general election.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • innocent bystander

      If you can win a primary you can win an election

      February 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • rick

      innocent: winning a primarily doesn't necessarily mean you can win a general election

      February 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @innocent,

      You seems to be confusing possible with realistic – which is obviously what the original post meant.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Innocent Bystander Every presidential election cycle, someone who got enough votes to become their party's candidate loses, sometimes big time, eg Goldwater, McGovern and Mondale. All three of the latter ran against sitting presidents and Goldwater and McGovern won the nomination by appealing to the outer fringes of their respective parties. Santorum is poised to become yet another guy demoloished in the general election because he has little to no appeal to independents or moderates in the major parties. Plus, while Goldwater and McGovern were actually intelligent, Santorum appears to be even of normal intelligence only when standing next to such gawdy specimens of rightwing meat-headedness as Perry and Bachmann. Obama will toy with him in debate. If only Obama would jettison his own court jester Biden!

      February 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • TR6

      All dogs, no ponies

      February 8, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  17. J.W

    I find it hard to believe that people care so much about private matters such as these bedroom issues. These issues will not affect them at all, yet they decide who they will vote for based on these issues.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Stevie7

      Well, the economy is fine. And it's not like our troops are actively engaging in combat at the moment. The middle east is stable and the world is at peace. So, with nothing else to worry about, it's perfectly logical to see why they care so much about what goes on behind closed doors. After all, they are the part of big government, so it's reasonable to assume they would want the government to regulate such things.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • J.W

      Yeah I agree. And they are still trying to make us believe we are on the verge of economic collapse. They are trying to scare people into voting for them now.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Wait a minute, the right never uses fear to advance their agenda. I mean, Saddam really did have WMDs, right? Because lying is bad.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • JohnR

      The economy is far from fine. The recovery is anemic and the deficit crisis continues to loom. None of the mandates of Obamacare have actually kicked in yet and when people find out that they are legally obliged to purchase insurance costing thousands of dollars and repeat that trick every year, watch out. There's lots to be concerned about, but simply zero reason to believe that the Republicans could do any better and lots of reasons to be concerned that they'd actually do worse.

      February 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • J.W

      Well the economy isn't that good, but there are signs of improvement. The budget is still a big problem, but the Republicans won't agree to compromise on it anytime soon. Hopefully most of them will be out of power soon. Then things will get better.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Another Fluffball Non-Article of Made-Up Information

    Now there is some amazing analysis. First, Protheo says "the culture wars are alive and well and (among other things) propelling Rick Santorum to a clean sweep on Tuesday in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado." Then later, he decides that "these wars are fought by politicians and pundits far more than by ordinary Americans."

    Got it? Voters chose Santorum based on issues that they don't really care about.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I wonder how Prothero found out why all those people voted the way they did? Just made it up so he could toss out a quickie piece of filler?

    February 8, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 8, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      February 8, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Actually i may do more harm then good... just search "Templeton Foundation prayer study or "Great Prayer Experiment"... Then again you may not actually believe in science, then you should probably just get off the computer and find a cave somewhere.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • an atheist

      Short of a mantis, what other living things pray? Lol

      February 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why don't you pray like the people in the Thaipusam festival then.
      I'll be happy to pay for a Kavadi for you.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      So teaching science and not misleading them is bad? But yet teaching them to believe in something can't be proven to be true is good? Wouldn't want to actually have people live in accordance with the 21st century now, would we? How silly!!

      February 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      Science was given to mankind by God, No one has suggested science not be taught here , is that a problem in your own country?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  20. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.